Some Fayette County public school students will be waiting longer than expected to return to in-person classes, due to winter weather and transportation staff shortages in the district.
Under revised plans announced Wednesday, the district's kindergarteners and first and second graders will have the option of starting or returning to in-person learning February 22. Grades 3-5 would follow starting Wednesday, March 3. Earlier drafts had grades 6, 9, and 12 coming back alongside 3-5, but acting Superintendent Marlene Helm says a number of factors have put that idea on hold.
"We did not see the weather coming. We just simply did not," she said. "We did not realize that our driver shortage would be as dramatic as it is."
Currently there are 34 bus driver vacancies, along with other school staff shortages.
"So rather than burst through with a plan that has too many holes for us to feel comfortable in rolling out, we said OK, let's just pause, let's do a part of this, and then make sure that we're good and then move forward," Helm explained.
Despite that pause, Helm says if the K-2 transition is successful, the district could come back as early as next week with word on when 6th, 9th, and 12th graders might return.
School leaders are set to reassess every Tuesday.
A virtual option will remain in place for those who prefer to stick to remote learning for the remainder of the year.